Shadowrun: Razor's Edge

Conversations with Jin

On their outing to investigate the mage murders, Jin mentioned to Shep, "I’ve been thinking about what you said with the drugs and all. I’m not sure I fully understand, but I’m not used to having all this money and stuff, so I’m gonna trust you all since everybody agreed. And I guess helping people kinda makes sense. I mean, I kinda trust you cuz you were nice to me when almost nobody else was, so maybe that would happen more if I helped other people. I guess I never been in a spot to help nobody before.

I’m not used to showing people what I can do, neither, but I guess it’s worked out good so far. I used to just use it to keep myself safe and hidden, but as I was watchin the craziness I caused at the casino, plus some of the other stuff I’ve done lately, I don’t know – I kinda felt high on it all. It just felt right and natural, ya know? But all those people, they all felt so small and breakable, too. And I liked feeling like the one in control for once. But it also kinda scares me. I dunno… I almost don’t feel like myself no more."

Shepard smiles, and replies, “Jin you don’t give yourself enough credit for how good of a person you are. When I first arrived in the Sprawl, you risked your own safety to help me. You helped me first and you didn’t even know me. Inside of you there is a lot of good, and there is also a lot of power. It is natural that power feels good, but ultimately it’s up to you to decide how you will use that power. Your power will grow and you will have to make difficult choices. You might not always make the right choice, but you will learn and things will get easier. It doesn’t matter what myself or anyone tells you to do with it,” as she speaks, Shepard puts her hand up to Jin‘s chest, right over his heart,"you have to do what feels right here. Everyone has their battles, their demons, and I know you do too. I’m here for you and if the battle gets tough, you know you can always come to me. You’re a good person and I know it, I probably wouldn’t be alive today if that wasn’t true."

Jin also approaches Sammy and says, “I think maybe I should apologize for how I been talkin to you lately. I haven’t been feeling like myself. I think it’s just how I’m not used to having money and showing off what I can do. It must’ve gotten in my head a bit.”

“Look, little bro, that’s pretty normal. You definitely aren’t yourself—not anymore. At least not the you that you’re used to knowing. But don’t worry! You’re going to start getting stronger and if you get hair in funny places pretty soon, don’t panic. Actually that’s not completely true. Depending on how much radiation you’ve soaked up, you might get hair on the wrong places which definitely isn’t norm—hey, you know what? Don’t worry about it. It’s all part of growing up.

As far as the money is concerned, stick with me and you’ll be able to show off plenty in no time. It takes money to make money. Remember that one. And check this: we have enough money now we can make some serious nuyen. This? This is nothin’. Man, just think of all the tail you’ll be chasin’ pretty soon!

Hey, you know what? You probably haven’t had anybody to talk to about this sort of thing…

…I bet Sheila is the perfect person! When you see her, ask her about ‘the birds and the bees’ and make sure you give her one of your better begging looks; the more pathetic, the better."

Jin stares at Sam as he speaks, initially with a somewhat confused then increasingly deer-in-the-headlights look… then vanishes and runs away.

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A Boatload of Loot!

The party decided it would be beneficial to bring a rigger for the casino raid, so they hired a “hacker.” Satou, the hacker who responded, proved himself surprisingly useful in a fight by killing a group of ghouls, and he was very anti-gang, so he was accepted into the group. Unfortunately, he turned out to be a different type of hacker than the group expected, but then, you can never have enough guns, either.

Leaving the majority of their weapons behind, the group took position in the casino and waited for the Knife Riders to be ready. As soon as Big Poppa Pump gave them the signal to create a distraction, Jin sent out a massive mental command to everyone nearby, including Knife Riders and gamblers alike, to yell, “Knife Riders!” and attack the casino guards.

In the ensuing chaos, a mage revealed himself and summoned a spirit to attack. However, Sammy summoned a spirit, as well, then he and Jin controlled the casino guards to kill the mage. Meanwhile, Love Fists and the new hacker went below deck to steal the casino’s loot. The hacker made quick work of the first two Rusted Stilettos, but the third proved to be rather dangerous. He ascertained that he was fighting a losing battle as the rest of the party started to arrive, however, and lobbed a grenade into the getaway boat then dove into the water. Love Fists made an amazing grab and chucked the grenade out of the boat and into the water just in time, though, and the party made their escape in the boat.

Unfortunately for the hacker, Jin did not have enough time to make everyone invisible by the time the Knife Riders noticed them and drove up along side, telling him to stop the boat. Ignoring their commands, the hacker shot the tires out from under them and the party made their escape with the loot.

Once back at their hideaway, the party took a look at what loot they’d managed to get away with. A large part of it were drugs, which Jin assumed they would sell to get even more credits. Sammy also thought they could put at least a small amount of the drugs to use, but Shepard and Love Fists were adamant that the drugs be destroyed.

They attempted to explain to Jin why it was best to get the drugs off the streets, but he had difficulty understanding how the destruction of these drugs could possibly make a difference and why he should even care about the junkies of the sprawl. Love Fists had already set aside her share of the credits for Joe to rebuild his gym, so Jin asked if Shep would be willing to give up her share if he would acquiesce. She surprised him by saying she would, so the party destroyed the drugs and divided up her share amongst themselves.

That left Shep without much money, though, so Jin decided to pay her rent and they all moved into Joe’s new gym to help him financially get started. In turn, Joe decided to introduce Love Fists, Shep and Sammy to the resistance…

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Rusted Stilettos
I will make them pay

After the fight, Love Fists and company arrive at the gym, only to find it engulfed in flames, with Joseph’s body lying in front of it. She brings the gym’s medkit to Sheppard, who incredibly is able to keep him alive. Silver Sam helps him by subtly using his magic, too. Jin finds them an abandoned building to spend the next three nights.

Love Fists is distraught about Joseph’s broken spirit and just accepting that dismay is the currency of living in The Sprawl. She goes visit her old enemy Big Poppa Pump at the Knife Riders headquarters. He is furious but she manages to get her proposal out before they shot at her. She intends to use the Knife Rider’s muscle to help hit the Rusted Stilettos’ money assets. The Knife Riders, having been put at the bottom of the gang ladder, are hungry for more and Poppa Pump looks past his vendetta. They discuss their plans a bit and let her go. Jin however, who had traveled in astral form to watch over Love Fists, uses his skill to eavesdrop of the gang members. Apparently they’re on board with Love Fists plan. Of course, they plan on her death as the icing on the cake after the hit.

She tells the group. Sheppard backs her friend, and Silver Sam accepts on promises of riches as a result of the spoil. Joseph accepts since he’s implicated by association. Love Fists tries to protect Jin from becoming involved. He leaves, but still eavesdrops on the plans to take the main money deposit location for the Rusted Stilettos. A boat is the main dropoff point for most of their transactions. Sheppard wants to sink the boat with explosives so that the Stilettos are forced to evacuate the money out in the open. Sam suggests about tipping the mobile police fortress after the hit for them to engage the stilettos and cut off pursue. Love Dists assures Sheppard that her siding with a gang was just to later have them fight and kill each other off.

During the planning, a spirit emerges and grabs the invisible Jin. After some struggling, Jin reveals himself, asking this apparent minion of his what orders he received. The spirit says Jin told him to kill young mages, a task which he completed. The spirit leaves, and the group question Jin’s abilities and intentions. He discloses his knowledge and abilities to the group. The group is also in need of a decker to join in the assault, and potentially, the bounty.

Silver Sam takes the group to visit his mechanic. He informs them of the specs for the mobile fortress. Physically, it’s quite formidable, but it might have electrical vulnerabilities and some extra descriptions of the machine.

After that, the group decides to go on a scouting mission to the casino fortress of the Rusted Stilettos, obtaining some important information on the layout of the place. Silver Sam summons a water elemental to spy on the ship, and learns that a mage and two minions guard it.

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The Magical Mystery Touristville

sh_unp4.JPGAlthough Shep spent much of the next month training with Love Fists at Joe’s, she also remained focused on the mobile fortresses that roamed the sprawl looking for her. She continued to scout the area and asked Sammy to hire a decker to learn about them.

Suddently, Jin showed up at the gym, seriously hurt but unable to remember what had happened to him. They took him to a somewhat less than reputable street doc that Sammy knew, whose business practices bothered Shep, but she (once again) held her tongue so that Jin could be saved. His wounds were surprisingly difficult to heal, but Jin was resilient and pulled through.

Love Fists had been invited to attend a bigger name fight than she was used to fighting in, and although Jin wasn’t 100% yet, everyone decided to join since the tickets were free, including Joe. However, since Joe was the only one with a vehicle, the rest had to walk through the Sprawl to reach Touristville where the fight was being held.

On their way, they were confronted by Rusted Stilettos gang bangers. After a little encouragement from Shep, they attacked, but the party quickly put them down. Those with more obvious mystical powers attempted to keep their abilities hidden, and they even managed to pass Jin’s magical head explodey attack off as a sniper shot. Leaving one man standing to spread the word not to mess with them, they continued on to Touristville.

srr_screen11_touristville.jpgPolice presence was high in Touristville, and especially since they were probably there looking for Shep, so Jin invisibly snuck her through the streets to meet a contact that gave her information on which cops were in the mobile fortresses. Meanwhile Sammy and LF decided to place bets on the fighter they analyzed to be the more skilled. However, his water had been drugged so he couldn’t win, so Sammy used magic to detox him and give him a fighting chance.

image117.jpgAlthough he was seriously under the weight class of the other fighter and had difficulty fighting through the elements they sent his way, their champion just barely managed to pull out an upset victory that surprised almost everyone. In fact, some rather powerful looking suits left looking rather upset. Since no one would help the victor, Sammy also secretly healed him.

After the fight they made the long walk back to the gym, but they arrived to find it on fire, and Joe was lying shot in the street in front of it. A message from Rusted Stilettos that they were not to be trifled with.

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The Sprawl

Favoring her right side, Shepard walked close the wall, occasionally leaning on it for a breath. She was exhausted from running and the bullet wound on her abdomen didn’t bring any comfort either. She knew she needed to find a place to hide, and then a street doc before the bullet killed her – or something worse in The Sprawl did instead. Having only visited the tourist area where cops like herself could go for information with decent chances of leaving alive, she was far out of her element and vulnerable.

Suddenly, she looked down and herself and realized that her typical trite outfit now would attract attention like a soy steak in a nest of maggots. She hurried gingerly to a nearby dumpster, swearing under her breath as she looked inside for anything to cover herself with. Muscles firing on pure reaction and adrenaline, she spun around with her pistol in hand when the sound of steps on cement echoed behind her. Where she expected a body to be in front of her there was nothing, but instead a dozen meters further was a massive troll. The sudden extension sent an extremely sharp pain up from her side and her right hand reflexively dropped down from supporting the gun to ease the tug on her bullet wound. She sighed, knowing that show of weakness only enticed the troll into attacking even more. Still, she managed,
“Just back off asshole and no one has to get hurt.” In response, the trolled laughed and lifted an enormous shotgun, flexing his over-sized muscles and showing no sign of backing down. Shepard exhaled and aimed her pistol, pulling the trigger when her hands became steady. The bullet hit target perfectly, knocking the shotgun from the troll’s hands. Oddly, though, where it should have just fallen, it instead seemed to find resistance in the clear air beneath it. It spun as it hit nothing and landed slightly off to the side. Shepard wanted to try and understand that odd event of gravity, but instead had to brace herself for combat as the troll raged. As she watched his body, trying to read his next movement, he suddenly became still and wide-eyed. He stared straight at her and seemed to be looking her up and down with a new perspective. Shepard couldn’t believe it, but he seemed frightened of her. Not wanting to waste the opportunity, she squared her shoulders and inhaled in an attempt to add to the limited intimidating stature that she apparently suddenly possessed. A few quiet seconds passed until the troll cried out, turned around, and ran down the alley. Shepard kept her pistol trained on his back, not certain exactly of what had just occurred between herself and the massive troll. When he was a safe distance away, she hid her pistol back underneath her jacket.

After scanning the area around for any other onlookers and deciding it was clear, she advanced towards the massive shotgun on the ground. Knowing that this weapon was likely illegal and in the hands of a killer, she decided to destroy it. As she set it down and began to take it apart, she heard a soft voice from behind her say,
“No… don’t…” Whirling to face the voice, Shepard saw no one. She squinted and waited a moment before speaking.
“Why not?” She asked the empty space.
“It’s valuable.” Replied the voice without a body.
“Great, and now I’m losing my mind and hearing voices.” She stood up and placed the disassembled pieces of the weapon into the dumpster, keeping the firing pin in her own jacket pocket.

(I don’t remember… Coming soon…)

The kid brought her to an incredibly well-hidden room in a ruined old home. She climbed up into the small stony hideout and as soon as she sat down, her exhaustion overtook her and she succumbed to fatigue, falling asleep with her back propped up against the wall. For a few hours she slept, and during that time, Jin willed a surprising amount of courage forth to approach her and magically heal her bullet wound. The shy young boy then went back to his corner of the hideout where he hid the shotgun parts under a loose brick.

The next morning Shepard asked Jin if he knew Silver Sammy, and when the boy nodded, she asked him to take her to him. She offered him 100 credits for that service and the boy eagerly agreed to the deal. He also offered her some tattered clothing that stank of death, which she accepted gratefully. As she changed clothing, she transferred her last possessions from her jacket to her current clothing, including her pistol and her officer badge. Despite trying to hide the badge from the boy, his keen perception caught the brass, but he did not show any sign of noticing.

Jin took Shepard to The Pickled Fish – a common hangout for Silver Sammy. However, the door was locked and from the peek-hole, a voice explained that “Love Fists” was away and so no one could be allowed in at the time. The woman behind the door also explained that Sammy had gone with a troupe of gangers down the street. On this lead, Shepard thanked the woman and quickly departed with Jin in tow. Following the woman’s directions, the walked down the street in search of Sammy. On the way, Shepard heard a vehicle approaching quickly from behind and pushed herself and Jin behind an alleyway corner, out of the road. Speeding by was a car with lights inside, illuminating the passengers and their explicit activity. A few moments later, walking down the street came a physically intimidating blonde woman, who Jin explained was called Love Fists. Jin approached the woman and asked her where Sammy was. Love Fists told Jin, with a very thick accent, that Sammy had been shot at and that he was recovering in an apartment just down the street. Love Fists obliged when asked to take both Shepard and Jin to the apartment. At the door, Love Fists announced her presence to men inside, ordering them to let her in.

As they entered, Sammy saw Shepard and exhaled in a panic, exclaiming “She—” before he caught himself, and corrected awkwardly mid-sentence to “Sheila! What are you doing here?” As her previous informant, Sammy knew who she was and knew how wrong it was for her to be in the Sprawl.
“We need to talk,” Shepard replied.
“I need to sleep first,” Sammy retorted with a bit of frustration, before dragging himself into the bedroom. Sammy motioned for Shepard to follow him inside, so she did, allowing the door to hold for a moment before closing, knowing an invisible individual may want to join.

Inside the room, Sammy’s com’s were lighting up. He spoke briefly to a few contacts, some more useful than others. Eventually he came across a wanted advertisement, offering a hundred-thousand NuYen for Officer Shepard, dead or alive. He told his contact that he wouldn’t pursue that bounty, as he believed no good could come from an offer like that. Sighing at the awful rotating 3D image of her own face, Shepard shook her head.
“They framed me, Sammy” She argued. “They murdered my partner in cold blood.”

Understanding that Sammy needed rest, Shepard left the room. She took a moment by what passed as toilet in this room and took a knife to her hair, cutting it down to what she hoped would be a strong contrast from the bounty photo. She went and sat next to a man bound on the couch. After a few questions, Love Fists explained that the man on the couch had murdered the actual apartment owner – an undercover cop. She also learned a bit about Love Fists and her hatred for gangers, as well as her intriguing interest in what Shepard related to as justice.

When Sammy finally woke up, he asked Jin if he knew a good place for them to lay low for a while. Of course, the boy did, and offered to lead them to a nearby hideout. On the way out, Sammy began to offer the bound man freedom. Shepard interrupted and offered to release him instead, to the dismay of Love Fists who had the same intention. As Shepard led the man outside, Love Fists followed. Shepard thanked the man for dispatching the cop, barely hiding the hiss of anger as the words left her lips, and told him a big reward would be granted to him if he followed her simple instructions. What he did not realize was that Shepard had used the dead officer’s comm-link to call his handlers, leaving an open microphone to the exchange of words between them.
“Thanks for offing that cop. Luckily for you, there is a big reward, but you can’t talk about it to anyone. Hold on to this comm-link, find a safe place, and stay there for two hours. You will be contacted with further instructions to claim your bounty. This place could use more heroes like yourself who are willing to take out cops that threaten our way of life.” She placed the comm-link into his pocket and nodded, removing his bindings. After the man had walked away, Love Fists asked what she had done. Shepard explained that justice would find the man, of that she was certain.

When they arrived at Jin’s hideout, Love Fists quickly realized how much time had passed and remembered that she had a big fight only minutes away from beginning. Sammy knew how important this fight was, so he called in a cab and offered to cover the expensive cost so they could make it to the arena in time. Love Fists instructed the driver to go all the way in to the arena, and so he did.

They crashed into the room and when the crowd saw Love Fists step out of the cab, they grew wild with anticipation for the fight that would soon begin. A massive man sat opposite of her, on what could only be described as a throne made of the highest quality refuse in the arena. He sat upon it, looking down at his opponent, laughing. The announcer introduced the fighters in their corners. Love Fists and the Champion.

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